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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 7, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. troops across the country received their deployment orders for afghanistan. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the pbs newshour tonight, 1,500 marines were told they'll ship out before christmas. >> lehrer: the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen, briefed soldiers and marines today. we'll talk to him about what he said. >> ifill: also tonight, as the climate change conference opened in copenhagen, new rules were announced in washington declaring greenhouse gases
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dangerous to public health. we get details from administrator lisa jackson at the environmental protection agency. >> lehrer: then, ray suarez begins a weeklong cross-country series about the u.s. economy. patchwork nation, tonight from philadelphia. >> they were too big to fail, i would say that cities are too important to fail. >> ifill: and jeffrey brown reports on new york's latest cultural struggle. how can they survive and thrive, here at the metropolitan in new york we'll talk to the man in charge and opera star renee fleming. >> lehrer: that's all coming up, on tonight's "pbs newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour is provided by: >> what the world needs now is energy. the energy to get the economy humming again. the energy to tackle challenges
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like climate change. what if that energy came from an energy company? every day, chevron invests $62 million in people, in ideas-- seeking, teaching, building. fueling growth around the world to move us all ahead. this is the power of human energy. chevron. intel. and bank of america. and by toyota.
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and monsanto. the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: thousands of u.s. marines and soldiers got ready to go to afghanistan. at the same time, nato defense ministers discussed their contributions to the cause. judy woodruff begins our report. 16,000 u.s. soldiers an marines began to get their orders to join troops already on the ground in afghanistan. they account for more than half of the 30,000
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reinforcements being september to the war zone by president oa. >> i'm extremely confident we can succeed in this mission, in great part because of you. but i don't underestimate the challenge. >> woodruff: the chairman of the joint chiefs admiral mike mullen visited soldiers at fort campbell, kentucky, this morning. it's home to the army's 101s airborne division which had orders to return to the fight even before the president's announcement. >> i am sure that we will sustain an increased level of casualties. i expect a tough fight in 2010. >> woodruff: later at camp lejeune, north cara, mullen briefed some of the 8,000 marines who will be part of the first wave of this coming surge. the lead contingent, 1500 marines will leave lejeune before christmas. they will be followed by 6200 more from the base after the first of the year. in addition, 800 marines
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from camp pendleton, california, will head overcome string. and the army will send around 3500 troops from 910th mountain division based at fort drum, new york. the 30,000 total in-bound americans will be joined by at least 6800 nato troop its. in brussels today, defense ministers from 25 of the 44 nations in the alliance confirmed the pledges they made last week. meantime, another u.s. ally visited the white house today for talks with the president. the tur kiss prime minister now has nearly 2,000 troops in afghanistan, largely deployed in and around the capitol kabul. the timetable for when american troops leave afghanistan also remained an issue. mr. obama announced last week that a drawdown would begin in july 2011. defense secretary robert
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gates and secretary of state hillary clinton elaborated on the sunday talk shows. >> this is a transition that's going to take place. and it's not an ash traire -- arbitrary date. obviously the transition will begin in the less contested areas of the country. but it will be the same kind of gradual-conditions based transition province by province, district by district that we saw in iraq. >> woodruff: those conditions will be determined in part by the readiness of afghan security forces. training them is a linchpin of the president's strategy. but there was another reminder today that much of the fight remained beyond afghanistan. synchronized bombings in a marketplace killed at least 36 people in lahore, pakistan, near the indian border. a massive fire engulfed parts of the moon market during its busiest time of the day. and hours earlier a suicide bomber killed at least ten people in the pakistani city
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of peshawar near the afghan border. >> lehrer: now >> lehrer: now to our interview with admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. i talked with him moments ago, right after he came back from his meetings with the troops. do admiral mullen welcome. >> good to be with you, jim. >> lehrer: what was your major message to the troops today. >> well, these two units the one at fort campbell, 101s and additional units there as well as the marines down at camp lejeune, they are the ones that will in great part lead the 30,000 that go in. although it will be timed over many months. and i wanted to do two things. one, i wanted to be as clear as i could about what our mission was, in that we have the president having made this decision. we're now off to execute it. and secondly, to answer any questions they might have. and i found in all these town halls i've done for many years, their ability to get to the quick on key questions. and i always learn from that as well.
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it was to engage them. i spent a lot of time in washington lately, particularly with this decision and debate that we had. and i've always found it important to be as close to them as i can been be, and particularly for the ones that are going to have to go carry out this mission. >> lehrer: was it difficult for you to stand up in front of these young men and women and talk about the possibility of casualties and what the various vulnerabilities and all that as you did today? >> well, it is -- it is very difficult. but it's something i feel very strongly about. i think that we in america need to face the real possibilities here. i felt that way throughout two conflicts, that we need to be very realistic and very transparent about it. it is a tough fight right now. it's going to be tough over the next year. and we are going to lose people. i've also found that engaging soldiers and marines, that they understand that. they have friends that are losing now. and so they clearly do know
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what the possibilities are. and yet all of us work hard to make sure there isn't one, if that's possible. >> lehrer: one of the fort campbell soliers asked you, straightforward what is the most, the biggest vulnerability that the troops, u.s. troops are going to have when they get on the ground. >> yeah, i think i answered there were two. >> lehrer: yeah. >> one is the ieds, these improvised explosive devices. >> lehrer: those are scary. >> they are. and they are -- they're local. they're essential all the materials that are -- that are being used by the taliban are in afghanistan. and they are big. and we've had some real challenges with them. we're working hard to get ahead of them. that being one. and the then the other one i talked about, and this goes back to civilian casualties. what mcchrystal changed when he went there. focusing on that. focusing on the people. and that tactically we might
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win a fight but if we lose civilians who riff there it doesn't make sense they would be for us. >> lehrer: you emphasized to both groups, to the troops, that they need to study the culture of afghanistan. they need to know who these people are and care about them and all of that. that was a big point to you. >> well, i learned that actually throughout my naval career. i've been in many countries. and learned that it is just a lot easier to understand other people's problems and other people's views if you are listening to them and you understand a little bit about their culture. and in these wars, iraq and afghanistan, it is been absolutely critical. and that's a lesson we learned in iraq. the identical requirement exists in afghanistan. obviously it's a different culture. and so studying the language, understanding their background and what they care about, and really connecting with them in that regard is really going to be important. >> lehrer: you, a young marine asked you, admiral, do you honestly believe 30,000 troops will do -- 30,000 more troops will do
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the job. and you said i honestly do. >> right. >> lehrer: why did you say that. >> well, because i do. we have been through a long debate here over the last many weeks. and the requirements are laid out there, what is really important about those 30,000 is the vast majority of them will get there by the middle of 2010. and we will get some troops there quicker then even general mcchrystal had asked for originally. and that in combination with expectations coming from our nato allies, again 42 other countries are in this fight with us. that we'll have some 36, 37, 38,000 additional troops. and we believe that that is enough to turn this around, to reverse the momentum of this insurgency. >> lehrer: you told the troops quite candidly that right now we're not wing the insurgency, right. >> we haven't. this has been, and i've said
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this publicly for some time. the insurgency has gotten better and better since 2006. and by that -- and so for us, it's gotten worse and worse. the level of violence was up in 2009. almost 60% from 2008. and nothing's going to change there unless we turn, specifically turn that around. that's really the effort. >> and you said more than once that 18 months, it's not necessarily withdrawal date t is a date we either do it or we don't is that right? >> well, july 2011, obviously that's been a date that has been broadly discussed since the president rolled it out in his speech. and my view of that is that's really critical. it is a target date for us. it's a date, it's very clear we will start to transition the security responsibility to the afghan security forces. and thin out and start to draw down some of our forces. but we've not set a withdrawal date. there is no specific number
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of forces. it could be very small number or -- and it could be a large number. and actually, the date while some have seen it as arbitrary t wasn't arbitrary at all. it was a date that we in the military focused on because we think we need to turn this thing in about two years. and in july of 2011 the marines that went into hell does man pro vince will have been there for three summers. we'll know whether this thing will be successful or not by that time. >> lehrer: it will be that definitive you think, between 18 months to 4 months. >> in july of 200 --. >> lehrer: you'll know. >> we believe we'll know. we can't be perfectly predictive. everybody wants to be. we can't be. but those of us in the military believe we have to turn this around in the 18 to 24 months and we think we have the right strategy, the right leadership and now the right force levels. >> lehrer: and that's what prompted this marine to say will 30,000 troop does that -- 30,000 more troop does that, that is what he was responding to.
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>> understood, understood. and we believe in the military that absolutely it will. and that's the mission that the president has given us and general mcchrystal, general petraeus, myself and others believe that we can execute that and succeed. >> lehrer: you also mention several times, in both groups about pakistan. in fact, you includeded pakistan in the overall mission. explain what you mean. >> well, pakistan, when the president rolled out his strategy on -- in march of this year, one big difference from the previous strategies was this is a regional strategy. so it's not focusing on oof began stand alone or pakistan. but the region. and in fact, we shouldn't forget that the main goal there is to eliminate the safehavens for al qaeda and make issue they can't return to afghanistan or pakistan in the future. pakistan's a sovereign country. they've taken significant steps in the last year. they've taken significant
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casualties as recently again as today where there was another bombing in lahore. they're taking this threat to themselves very seriously. so the long-term view is we would look for a partnership with pakistan and afghanistan ine a stable region and to have that long-term relationship be one similar to what we have with other countries. >> lehrer: but not put u.s. troops in pakistan. >> no, no. there's no -- absolutely no provision nor no discussion of putting any u.s. troops in pakistan. save the support troops that we have. there we've got troops small number of troops training at the pakistani government and pakistani military request as they address this fight. but outside that kind of training support no other troops. >> lehrer: that border area between pakistan and afghanistan can be handled without u.s. troops going over to the other side? >> well, it actually has to be. i look at this strategically over the long run that it's the pressure brought from
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the east, if you will, on the western border of pakistan and the pressure in afghanistan that will eventually allow us to get at and eliminate those safe havens. i also believe that pakistan's future will in great part be driven by what kind of country afghanistan is, stable or unstable. and that a stable supportive government in afghanistan will be very helpful to how pakistan looks at its future and the decisions it makes. >> finally, admiral, you're comfortable -- we were asked a lot of questions today by pfcs, by corporals, among others, about overview policy. politics and all that. you are comfortable doing that. >> always, and actually i find as you obviously saw in looking at the questions, they always ask great questions. and it's -- there are oftentimes much broader than just specific focus area that i might be interested in. >> lehrer: okay.
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admiral, thank you very much. >> thanks, jim. >> lehrer: gwen. >> ifill: still to come on >> ifill: still to come on the pbs newshour, the obama administration formally declares greenhouse gases a threat to public health. we interview e.p.a. administrator lisa jackson. ray suarez begins "patchwork nation," our weeklong series on the state of the nation's economy, tonight from philadelphia. and jeffrey brown looks at whether grand opera has a grand future. >> lehrer: that's all ahead. but now, the day's other news, as reported by the newest member of our team, hari sreenivasan. he comes to us from cbs news, among other journalistic places. he's in our newsroom now. welcome, hari. >> thanks, jim. it's good to be here. thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in iran's capital today. protests erupted in other cities as well. there was no word on arrests, but web sites reported at least one person was wounded. we have a report narrated by jonathan rugman of independent television news.
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>> reporter: they burned a picture of the republic founder, its supreme leader, and then the president. iran's protest movement back on the streets today, its anger at the regime apparently as fierst as ever. death to the dictator these students in tehran shouted as they waved iranian flags with a symbol of the revolution, the word allah missing from the center. at one university they knocked down the gates. and at another, they sat in the street, calling iran's supreme leader eyea khamenei a criminal an a murderer. international news agencies have been told to stay inside for 48 hours. and in the past few days iran's internet connection has slowed to a trickle. but that hasn't stopped protestors from exporting pictures from their mobile phones to the outside world.
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this was in northeast iran. the fact that the protestors have no single leader or manifesto is making it that much harder to stop them. >> the people were warned not to come out but they've overcome their fear. people feel they can do something. and they don't want to give up what they've started. >> reporter: in tehran the revolutionary guards much-feared militia were filmed patroling on waves of motorbikes and eye witnesses said they used electrical truncnon and stun guns to break up the crowds. the state media covering this pro-government march appeared short on detail on the day's events. >> meanwhile a number of anti-government protestors attempted to hijack the occasion to hold rallies in tehran. their efforts were foiled by the presence of security forces which were deployed in several parts of the capitol. >> reporter: there was no sign today of leading opposition figure hussein
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moussai but he issued a statement yesterday. they are asking us to forget about the election results, he said. but even if you silence all the universities, what are you going to do about the society itself. >> suarez: hundreds o >> lehrer: hundreds of students also marched through somalia's capital today. the rally in mogadishu was the first known demonstration against islamic militants who control much of the country. it came four days after a suicide bomber attacked a university graduation ceremony. that explosion killed 24 people, including three government ministers. the somali government warned today suicide bombers plan to disguise themselves as army generals and target the presidential palace, airport, and seaport. elections in iraq may be pushed back a month or more. the vote was originally scheduled for mid-january. but today, the country's electoral commission recommended a 45-day delay to february 27 at the earliest. it is subject to approval by the iraqi presidential council. the iraqi parliament finally adopted the law authorizing the
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election over the weekend. in washington, the chairman of the federal reserve cautioned it's too soon to tell if the recovery will take hold. ben bernanke said in a speech the economy is still struggling with a weak job market and tight credit. >> though we have begun to see improvement in economic activity we still have some way to go before we can be assured that the recovery will be self-sustaining. also at issue is whether the recovery will be strong enough to create the large numbers of jobs that will be needed to materially bring down the unemployment rate. economic forecasters subject to great uncertainty, but my best guess at this point is that we will continue to see modest growth next year, sufficient to bring down the unemployment rate but at a pace slower than we would like. >> on wall street bernanke's words helped dampen enthusiasm for another rally. the dow jones industrial average gained just one point to close at 10,390. the nasdaq fell more than 4 points to close at 2189.
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>> president oa confirmed president obama confirmed the government's bank rescue program, the tarp, will cost much less than expected. it was widely reported the obama administration plans to slash the $700 billion price tag by $200 billion. but the president stopped short of saying whether he'll direct the unused funds to stimulate job growth. he plans to address that issue in a speech tomorrow. the u.s. supreme court today scrutinized a major law on corporate fraud. the sarbanes-oxley statute was enacted in 2002, after the enron, world-com and other accounting scandals. the issue before the court today was whether an oversight board created by the law violates the constitution's separation of powers. u.s. cancer rates are falling. the national institutes of health, the centers for disease control and others reported the findings today. diagnoses for all kinds of cancer fell an average of nearly 1% a year from 1999 to 2006. the overall death rate fell 1.6%
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a year. the decline was driven mainly by decreases in lung, prostate, breast and colo-rectal cancers. this was pearl harbor day, marking 68 years since the japanese attack that brought the u.s. into world war ii. it came as researchers have confirmed finding wreckage from a long lost japanese midget submarine used in the raid. digitize from tape the discovery was part of an underwater expedition led by the pbs science series nova. it found three sections of debris south of pearl harbor, 1000 feet below the surface. the documentary airs january 5. those are some of the day's headlines. i'll be back at the end of the broadcast with a look at what you'll find on the brand-new pbs newshour website. but for now, back to gwen. >> ifill: thanks, hari, and welcome. now ray suarez begins a special look at the economy we're calling patchwork nation, a special online collaboration between the pbs newshour and the christian science monitor that we're now taking on air. the project examines 24 counties
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and towns. we'll be taking you to a number of them: boom towns that are growing and diversifying; campus career centers dominated by college life; agricultural communities experiencing tough times on the farm; and service worker centers, small towns in search of prosperity. the project finds that across the united states, recession or recovery very much depends on where you happen to live. ray suarez begins in what the patchwork nation project classifies as an industrial metropolis, the city of philadelphia, pennsylvania. >> suarez: america's fifth largest city is waiting for the economic recovery with four centuries worth of assets. it has a rich inheritance of some of the most revered and visited landmarks of this country's earliest days as a nation. a lively fine arts scene. encouraged and developed for decades as an economic engine. and great research
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universities. like temple, drexell and the university of pennsylvania. but just a few blocks away, the neighborhood surrounding tell a different story. vacant, derelict homes dot the landscape. much of the city is filled with abandoned manufacturing plants. 22 percent of a durlts are functionally illiterate, not surprising giving a 50% high school dropout rate. and these neighborhoods are not unique. a full quarter of philadelphia's residents live in poverty. >> people can come in and use the computers in order to write resumes. >> suarez: and it's only gotten worse since the recession says a labor advocate who sits on the board of the city's job banks. >> you are told you have to be retooled and reskilled to enter the job force. that is a big delima so not only do we have young african-american males out
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of age but we have middle-aged people out of work. >> suarez: the city shed 80,000 jobs since last fall. unemployment is at 11% and in some fields like the construction trades, the rate is closer to 50%. let's be clear. philadelphia's problems didn't begin with the current recession. it's been losing industry and population for decades. and has in common with many big, older cities, problems with crime and failing public schools. what the current recession has done has give the city a longer walk back to where it is widely agreed it needs to go. one attempt is with the redevelopment of the city's thousand acre decommissioned navy yard. at its height the site employed 40,000 people. today the navy uses the area to store mothballed warships. but over the past several years, many corporations like the clothing company urban outfitters have moved
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in. last week philadelphia's mayor michael nutter with pennsylvania governor ed rendell at his side announced the opening of a solar panel plant at the navy yard. >> in years to come when people think about clean energy and solar power they're going to be thinking about philadelphia and the philadelphia region. >> the mayor sounds like urban executives across the country when he talks about 2009's most politically stylish color green. >> as we look to the navy yard increasingly as a clean energy campus, this is a place where whether you have a ged or a ph.d or anything in between there is a job opportunity for you as a part of our larger effort as greenworks, philadelphia. >> suarez: hear that? everything between a ged and a ph.d. highly desirable, and tough to do. with the emphasis on high tech, the ph.ds are in good shape. at the university city science center. >> it's getting really cold tomorrow. >> suarez: tomorrow's
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inventions are taking form like carbon neutral air conditioning. and a hydrogen gas generator. >> this is an item of commerce. you can buy the cans. these will go into the two inside the two reactors. and with these two cans, generate 1,000 litres of hydrogen in 20 minutes and launch a five-foot weather balloon. >> suarez: david kaid brought his business to philadelphia from its original west coast home. he says a high concentration of top universities allows him to draw on technical expertise and the institutional support he needs to grow here. >> we have some very, very good speakers. >> suarez: just one floor below, jeremiah white is trying to build a bridge between philadelphia's toughest neighborhoods and the world-class research institutions nearby. >> how can we get more african-americans, hispanics, native americans, people in color in general involved in commercializing technology. >> suarez: white created ipraxis to help a young generation of minority
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scientists turn their research into inventions and business its. >> the other difference that i am not quite understanding is copyright versus licensing. >> suarez: for white, this is step one in creating new jobs for philadelphia. >> if you can get some of these young people, african-americans, involved in the process, they will form companies in that space, hopefully locate those companies here in philadelphia and hire people in neighborhoods. >> suarez: but it could take awhile before relief is felt in distressed neighborhoods like mancuhau in west philadelphia. >> it is supposed to be really, really nice. >> suarez: 25 years ago jane golden started the murr all arts program as a way to combat graphityi, but now it is being used as a major tool for urban renewal and community activism. >> we have a murr all tour program instead of the police coming in, they see tour buses coming in.
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if there are restaurants in the neighborhood, people will eat at the restaurants so we can further support economic development. >> suarez: golden says she can draw a straight line from the hard work local people do on the murr alls, to a neighborhood worth investing in again. >> this is an area of the city that had been decimated by years of poverty and neglect and drugs. and i have seen this neighborhood change in remarkable ways. >> suarez: the improvements prompted a local developer to build new houses on the block but they were completed just as the real estate meltdown took hold and none have sold yet. >> but even this. >> i met up with the director of the patchwork nation project at a place that perfectly illustrates urban transition. redding terminal market was part of a big train station in the heart of town, now it's a food lovers delight. he says not all cities suffered in the same way over the last two years. but as a group, they took the brunt of the downturn. >> new york has done better
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than phillie. phillie has done better than detroit. on the whole, though, when you take these numbers and average them out, you know, these places have done worse. their unemployment rate say little higher. in fact our unemployment rate is among the highest in the community types we look at. their foreclosure is among the highest if not the highest of the 12 types of place we look at. so they've felt a lot of pain. i mean these places have really experienced a lot of the depth of the recession. >> suarez: which in a weird way is a win for philadelphia. >> less bad is the new good for us. we're not as bad as las vegas, we're not as bad as phoenix or miami. >> suarez: levi is ceo of a nonprofit economic development corporation charged with revitalizing center city where most of the jobs are located. >> this was originally the curtis publishing where ladies home swrournl was published. >> suarez: one reason philadelphia is doing okay, +h3v it's industrial base left long ago. today the economy is diversified. >> we used to have 52% of
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our workforce at the beginning of the 20th century in manufacturing. today it's 4%. those were the jobs we were always losing at a faster rate than the national economy. a great strength in health care and education has buoyed us and carried us through this economy. >> suarez: and by the way, the health of thed> country is tied to the health of the cities says mayor nutter. >> you can't have a recovery without cities in metro areas recovering as well. they talked about some the industries that were too big to fail. i would say that cities are too important to fail. >> suarez: nutter asked the obama administration to free up more stimulus funds is so cities like philadelphia can avoid even deeper layoffs. city revenue is way down. federal money can fill a gap for philadelphiaans as they wait for a better year in 2010. >> . >> lehrer: tomorrow night ray reports from ann arbor, michigan, a college town prospering in an economic depressed state
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>> ifill: jim, we turn our attention now to this week's big meeting in copenhagen on climate change, and a new decision from the obama administration. newshour correspondent kwame holman begins with more about the meeting in denmark. . >> reporter: diplomats from 192 nation its gathered in copenhagen today for the largest and potentially most important u.n. climate change conference ever. their goal to shift away from fossil fuels and get rich countries to send billions of dollars to poorer ones to help them adapt. organizers warned this could be the critical last chance to curb global warming. >> the science has never been clearer. the solutions have never been more abundant. political will has never been stronger. and let me warn you, political will will never be stronger. this is our chance.
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if we miss this one, it could take years before we get a new and better one, if we ever did. >> reporter: u.n. climate leaders are seeking a global pledge to cut emissions worldwide 25 to 40% by 2020. they called on the conferees not to be put off. >> the time for formal statements is over. the time for restating well-known positions is past. >> reporter: president obama has called for a 17% reduction in u.s. emissions by 2020, from 2005 levels. and an 83% cut by 2050. china and india also talked of cutting carbon dioxide emission rates by 25 to 45%. >> it's hot in here. >> reporter: climate activists such as these students outside the
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conference also were trying to raise awareness. a woman from fiji cheerly handed in a petition signed by 10 million people asking negotiators to help countries like hers. >> we need a deal that is fair to the poorest people and nations, nations that have had little or nothing to do with the issue, but that will be affected the most. >> reporter: in washington the environmental protection agency formally declared greenhouse gases are endangering public health, paving the way to regulate them. later president obama met privately with former vice president al gore whose lead the drive for climate action. the president will attend the conclusion of the copenhagen conference on december 18th. >> ifill: just before she left for copenhagen i >> ifill: just before she left for copenhagen, i sat down with e.p.a. administrator lisa jackson this afternoon to discuss the greenhouse gas decision. administrator jackson,
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thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> ifill: in your announcement today about the dangers of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide were you trying to get a jump on what you expect to be challenges in copenhagen later this week? >> well, i think we wanted -- i am proud of the fact that this was released in advance of the majority of the discussions at copenhagen. and so certainly what i thought was important in the announcement was to talk about the science to the american people. to talk about the fact that the science leads you really to only one conclusion. and that nothing we've heard, and epa's duty was to assess that science rigorously, changes, i believe, that the science means that grown house gases are pollution, and in danger of public health and welfare. >> ifill: senator kerry said if the epa had to act it would be a blunt instrument and it was preferable for congress to do this instead but since the senate hasn't acted would you prefer that the senate had acted. >> i absolutely prefer that the senate take action and i'm hopeful that they will. i join the president in calling for clean energy and climate legislation. and that's because i think
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having economy-wide legislation sends an unequivocal signal to the private sector that we really mean it. that we're moving towards green energy. >> ifill: you say you really mean it. what is the practical impact of this kind of announcement today, are sanctions imposed, are limits now put on. carbon-producing industries? >> none of that but let me talk about a few things. first today's announcement is really about a day in time n 2009, when the u.s. government finally joined the world in acknowledging climate change and acknowledging climate pollution and what it can do to us as a people and to the world. but epa has taken a lot of steps in anticipation of this kind of authority. this authority, this finding gives us authority. we've proposed and now finalized an emissions inventory. so large emitters of greenhouse gases, starting january of 2010 now have to report that information will be out there for the american people to see.
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much has been talked about the new clean car rules. epa has proposed rules. the president actually announced them in the rose garden with automakers and with labor and environmentalists to jump-start our move towards cleaner automobiles. and we were working hard on that. and much has been made about what this -- what impact this might have on big sources like power plants and epa has proposed a rule that talks about tailoring the clean air act in ways to use it to enable regulation and moving forward in the industry. >> ifill: let's talk about the skeptics. the business community, some segments of 9 business community are very concerned about this. they say it's going to make it more difficult for the economy to continue to recover. what do you say to them? >> i say nothing we've done so far, when i tick off this list of actions from reporting it to car rules and even the action that talks about stationery source reductions, none of that has been the doomsday scenario that we've heard
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from, from people who want to stop all progress on climate. >> ifill: the other skeptics, we've seen this debate this week about these e-mails which surfaced which seem to cast questions about whether data was being manipulated to make the case for global warming. for the argument that you are attempting to make. how do you speak to people who look at this and still question the essential science behind it? >> i hope they'll look at our action today as being a fossil one in light of all the questions we her not just in the last weaks about some e-mails. but frankly over years, about what the science really says and what consensus we should draw as policymakers from it. one thing i like to remind people is that the e-mails talk about one set of data and how it is interpreted out of dozens of sets of data and those sets of data have been used by hundreds, maybe thousands of scientists around the world to reach all kinds of conclusions. so there's nothing in that,
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those particular e-mails that change the underlying data. that was what we ask ourselves during the finding and not just about these e-mails but all along. >> are you saying even if this particular body of work was manipulated or if things were left out that could have been said about this case, that there is other information which is broader, which counteracts that? >> ifill: that's exactly what i'm saying. i'm saying that, you know, the knowledge out there, the data that is out there, is vast and it the e-mails deal with a small sliver. the other thing the american people should know is we are talking about u.s. scientists as well. these aren't -- you know, if you read some of the press on the e-mails, you might think that most of the data that's out there is foreign data. there are u.s. scientists and u.s. organizations that have been collecting data as well, separate and apart. and all of that has been analyzed by scientists the world over. >> ifill: does any of this
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lead us up to stricter standards now for vehicles, something that would have a direct impact on an embattled actor -- sectors, the auto industry? >> yeah, they do, but there are no surprises there. the finding is the foundation that allows us to then propose and finalize automobile emissions rules. those rules, we worked on with the automobile industry, with the state of california, and with other states who are looking for cleaner cars. with labor unions and with environmentalists. in fact, i think one of the most upstanding accomplishments we've had in the clean energy and climate space has been reaching an accord with those four disparate groups about what the autos of the future should be. they've already agreed they want to see these rules. and the reason they want to see it is because they want a road map for how to build cars. they know they are recovering economically, they just want one set of rules so that they know the rules of the road. >> ifill: and finally as the president and as you head off to copenhagen this week, what about your announcement
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today about the accumulated effort on the part of this administration do you hope to take there which convinces the rest of the world to get on board, or stay on board in a way that they did not with kyoto? >> well, you know, i lead off a series of u.s. government officials who will be talking about various aspects of climate change. my session is entitled taking action at home. and we have so much to talk about. here at epa we can talk about the rules we've done, about the emissions reporting. about the fact that next year americans will be able to see what businesses are emitting. then we can talk about the $80 billion in funding under the recover act, much of which went through the department of energy. or we can talk about transportation with a renewed emphasis on light-rail. all these actions that this administration has taken in just 11 months to really jump-start not only our acknowledgment of the problem, but solutions for the problem at the same time. >> ifill: administrator lisa jackson, safe travels, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me.
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>> lehrer: finally tonight, reinventing the met. jeffrey brown reports. >> reporter: grand opera doesn't get any grander than at new york's metropolitan opera. still, the place for the greatest singers and biggest spectacles like the small army that filled the stage for a recent performance of aida. but behind the scenes here like everywhere else in the classical music world, is the looming question. how to keep opera not only alive but thriving. >> i'm not trying to pretend that opera is a populist fair it is not. it is high art. but opera as a high art form still should be accessible and understandable by the broadest possible, intelligent audience.
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>> reporter: three years ago peter gell became general manager of the met with a mandate to revitalize a great institution that in his words was in danger of becoming artistically irrelevant. for gel it was a homecoming of sorts. >> i was an usher when i was 16 years old. >> reporter: oh, really. >> yeah. >> reporter: you've come a long way. >> not geographically. >> reporter: gelb a life-long new yorker first made a name for himself in the class cat -- classical music business with the manager working with the likes of piano vladimir horowitz but running the met is a whole other ball game. first says gelb, there are the die-hard fans. >> opera fans are as fanatical as horse fans it just as exciting for an opera fan knowing whether or not the sing letter hit the high note as it is watching a-rod coming up to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
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>> reporter: but what of everyone else and where is the next generation of diehards to come from. according to a new study by the national endowment for the arts, opera attendance in the u.s. overall is down some 34% just in the last six years. gelb is trying to reach out and grab people on several fronts. among other things, the season's opening night was beamed live to times square. and for weeknight performances now, organize tra -- orchestra seats are available for just $20 to the first 100 people in line. a nice savings for the young and others who can't afford the regular $80 to $275 price tag. >> biggest of all has been the series of live, high definition broadcasts beam mood more than 900 movie theatres around the world drawing close to 2 million viewers last year.
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at the same time, gelb is trying to revamp the met's reper tory updating the productions of classic fare and commissioning new operas from today's composers. >> there is no room for compromise. we have to move forward for this art form to stay connected to be successful, it has to be making progress all the time. >> reporter: or? >> or it will recede and it will lose its public and people will lose interest in it. >> reporter: it's still, of course course, great music and great singing that distinguishes opera and the met. but one of its biggest stars rene phlegming is well aware that her art form is fighting for survival in a very changed culture. >> it wasn't that long ago that an upwardly mobile person in our society felt that the road to that was through culture and education. >> reporter: including opera. >> exactly, music. people had meos.
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we have really achieved something. we own a meo. that is gone. that is completely gone. so we have to be creative about finding other ways to develop new audiences. >> mezzo-soprano plays the jealous princess. >> reporter: doing her part fleming has taken on a new role as host of the live opera transmissions. and she supports gelb's push for more theatricality. >> not too long before i started it was accessible for people to just stand, not make eye contact, not really interact with each other. sometimes not even inhabit a character but to be the grand diva, portraying the character, one step removed. >> reporter: but that means some singers have to adjust or -- >> oh, everyone's had to adjust. >> good, good, good, okay, good. then we go into the drinking song, right. okay, so that -- let's -- that's enough because it already weird enough as it is. >> reporter: the met's reaching out includes looking to new hollywood and broadway talent for fresh ideas. hiring directors like bart
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sheer who we caught up with on the first day of rehearsals for a new production of tales of hoffman. sheer has great success in the theatre, but until recently, little experience with opera. >> when i'm in the middle of working on opera and people singing to me in very strange rhythms in another language and i'm actually trying to work out what they are doing, i often is a toy myself this is the weirdest art form i have ever been a part of. >> reporter: right in the middle. >> because i will stop and go what is going on, this is so strange. bus because it is a very strange way to communicate an idea. >> reporter: sheer can't read music and doesn't know italian. but his first production for the met, the remake of a long time favorite, the barber of seville was filled with comedic and theatrical touches and became a big hit. but that was only after overcoming some obstacles, sheer says, like when he wanted to build a catwalk to bring singers closer to the
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audience. >> there was a lot of resistance to that when we first proposed it. like no --th are. >> because the singers should never be below the conducter or sometimes i worked with a singer and they would go well, we always do this, this is tradition. and i say okay. tell me the tradition. inform me about what the tradition is and then we would take the tradition and sometimes i would go well that's good. and sometimes i go that is the stupidest thing i ever heard of. let's push it to somewhere else. >> reporter: messing with barber of seville worked. messing with tosca to open this season was a different matter. peter gelb decided a long-standing much loved production of the opera needed an edgier approach. a new stark set replacing the old opojgt roman skinery drew some noticeable booing. >> that has elicited more letters, personal letters, e-mail letters i have ever received than any other production. ranging from angry patrons who say listen, buster, you better, there was one
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addressed to me that way. >> listen buster. >> listen, buster. >> reporter: are you messing with my tosca. >> don't mess with my tosca. to others who tell me that they are thrilled that the met is actually leaving the 19th century behind and entering the 1s century in a very short time span. >> reporter: of course the controversy brought headlines. not necessarily a bad thing for an institution aiming to reassert itself. give grand opera a grand place in contemporary culture. the trick now without the booing is to stay there >> lehrer: again, the major developments of the day. thousands of u.s. marines and soldiers got ready to go to afghanistan. and nato defense ministers discussed their contributions to the cause. anti-government protests erupted in cities across iran.
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security forces fought with thousands of demonstrators. and the chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke, cautioned it's too soon to tell if the recovery will take hold, gwen. >> ifill: by now you've noticed we've made some changes to our nightly broadcast. well, there are big changes at the newshour's web site as well. for details of what you'll find online, back to hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. hari. >> gwen, it is indeed a brand new day on the pbs newshour's web site. the address, though, remains the same, we've introduced a new design, better navigation, and we've launched a news blog, called the rundown, which will feature regular updates and insights from our reporting throughout the day, all of it rooted in the guidelines of macneil/lehrer journalism. jim read those on-air friday, if you missed it, you can find the guidelines posted on our web site. also online tonight, more on the series ray suarez is working on,
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patchwork nation. there's a video postcard about a mural project in philadelphia, and extra interviews to help explain the data that lies at the heart of the project. jeffrey brown's art beat blog, there's more from tonight's piece on the metropolitan opera, including performances at the met. also travelling this week, the newshour's margaret warner. she's filing regularly as she explores european attitudes toward afghanistan. we'll see you at newshour-dot- we'll see you at >> lehrer: and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the iraq and afghanistan conflicts. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are nine more.
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>> ifill: and that's the pbs newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> lehrer: thanks, gwen, we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. i'm jim lehrer. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour is provided by:
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